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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 05-29-2009, 10:37 AM   #1
chambersuac
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Default Cooking on a chimney starter

I did a quick search of the site and didn't see this addressed. If it's an old topic, forgive me.

Last night I watched an episode of the Food Channel's "Good Eats" and the host/chef wanted to sear some tuna steaks. He fired up his chimney starter using lump charcoal and then when it was blazing hot, he put a grill rack on top and then seared his tuna steak.

It looks like a great way to grill a beef steak, too...have any of you guys tried this technique? If so, was it sucessful?
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Unread 05-29-2009, 10:42 AM   #2
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I haven't tried it, but I should since I have one of these beasts.



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Unread 05-29-2009, 10:54 AM   #3
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That's a beauty. Too bad we don't have a store nearby. If you do try cooking on it, let me know how it turns out.
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Unread 05-29-2009, 10:59 AM   #4
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I tried it once, I KILLED the ribeyes, I did it after watching that show.

they looked blacked, but it was nasty burnt, probally because the ribeye's have so much fat.
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Unread 05-29-2009, 11:06 AM   #5
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Default I did it once...

wrong!!
I filled the chimney to about two thirds, like you normally would. The fire was not super hot, it was nuclear fission hot. By the time it cooled enough to use the ash was flying up the chimney, so I dumped out the coals into the kettle.
Fill it about halfway at most, but yeah I bet it rocks!
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Unread 05-29-2009, 11:08 AM   #6
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I do it all the time. I use about 1/4 chimney and they're perfect. I also use Kingsford or Rancher, no lump.
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Unread 05-29-2009, 11:13 AM   #7
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i do it all the time for filet and porterhouses, fill the chimney 1/2 with lump, get it going nice and hot, put the chargoal grate from the bottom of a weber 221/2 on top of it, sear 2 mins each side, dump coals in performer offset, let the meat rest in the grill for 5 mins or done til desired.
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Unread 05-29-2009, 11:16 AM   #8
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Default coating on the outside???

If I'm not mistake <insert uh-oh here comes Rocketman Safety Ray comment> the outside coating may be <here it comes> ZINC??? ..... so they look pretty in the store, when you buy them, and they rust after you've used them a few times.....

Yea, OK, I know, I'm not EXACTLY sure that's right, I have an old rusty one so I doesn't matter.

Anyone want to chime in???

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Unread 05-29-2009, 11:17 AM   #9
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I've done steaks, chicken breasts, tuna steaks, and hot dogs. It's great for searing meat fast.
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Unread 05-29-2009, 11:32 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Countryhb View Post
I do it all the time. I use about 1/4 chimney and they're perfect. I also use Kingsford or Rancher, no lump.
Thought you were a Rancher hater?
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Unread 05-29-2009, 12:34 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Norcoredneck View Post
Thought you were a Rancher hater?
Hell no! I love Rancher!!
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Unread 05-29-2009, 12:42 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Countryhb View Post
Hell no! I love Rancher!!
Nothin like a full load of Rancher in a fully loaded drum.
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Unread 05-29-2009, 01:13 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Norcoredneck View Post
Nothin like a full load of Rancher in a fully loaded drum.
Kinda like cooking in a fully loaded outhouse
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Unread 05-29-2009, 07:18 PM   #14
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never grilled on the chimney starter, but I recall making a grill out of a large coffee can and using it go cook a burger during my brief stint in the boy scouts...
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Unread 05-29-2009, 08:14 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rocketmanray View Post
If I'm not mistake <insert uh-oh here comes Rocketman Safety Ray comment> the outside coating may be <here it comes> ZINC??? ..... so they look pretty in the store, when you buy them, and they rust after you've used them a few times.....

Yea, OK, I know, I'm not EXACTLY sure that's right, I have an old rusty one so I doesn't matter.

Anyone want to chime in???

RMR
The Weber one is zinc coated/plated.
So maybe don't do this with a brand spanking new chimney.
If you've used yours a while, I don't see how you'd be getting significant Zn release and deposition during a 2+2 minute sear.

In other words, not a real health concern.

I've cooked a couple steaks with this method, but I'm not a fan.
It might work as a finishing step, but it's near impossible cook the steak (to even very rare) this way without overdoing the outside.
Unlike tuna, you usually want to heat the center of the steak a little, not just sear the outside.
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